There are no statistics available which detail abuse by teachers in international schools, but a number of high profile cases indicate that international studies are not immune to the problem.
International schools face a number of challenges in safeguarding children from harm. They operate under a wide variety of governments and, as a result, face different legislation (such as the age of consent), as well as different standards, behaviours and support provision. The ease of mobility that international teaching provides, coupled with weak recruitment practices and underdeveloped legal systems in some countries, can make such schools prime targets for child abusers, according to Council of International Schools (CIS), Executive Director, Jane Larsson.
“A survey of 716 international educators conducted by the International Task Force on Child Protection (ITFCP) in 2015,” according to Larsson, “revealed that almost half of the respondents lack confidence in their abilities to detect abuse and that 90% believe annual training should be required and provided.”
Keeping Children Safe (KCS) works with international schools who are committed to making sure they have appropriate child safeguarding policies and procedures in place to protect children from harm. We have supported international schools in Asia, Latin America and in the UK. Several schools have already achieved Level 1 Certification. This assures that they have the proper child safeguarding framework in place to protect children from harm and, should a concern be raised, the school is able to respond appropriately in line with national laws. The overriding principle is always to do what is in the best interest of the child.
“Thank you for the child safeguarding workshop. It was very informative, positively challenging and we are very happy that we finished with a good draft of a policy to take forward next year. We very much appreciated your knowledge and experience and also your support in adapting this to our needs.” Tian Bersey, Director, National Committee Development, United World Colleges (UWC).